Executive Briefings

Chinese Goods Fill World's Marketplaces - But at What Cost When So Many Are Shoddy?

Across Nigeria, low-cost Chinese goods are everywhere, evidence of Beijing's growing dominance in global trade. The trade flow has helped keep life affordable for millions of Nigerian families, at a time when the country is struggling with economic stagnation and plunging prices, as well as the deadly costs of the Boko Haram insurgency.

But shoddy or counterfeit products are a national problem in Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, where impoverished consumers have few alternatives. Some shoddy goods are benign, like the Chinese-made shirts, trousers and dresses with uneven stitching and stray threads that fill street markets. But electrical wiring, outlets and power strips from China, ubiquitous in new homes and offices, are connected to dozens of fires a year in Lagos alone.

The relationship between China and Nigeria is a complex web of dependency, one replicated in dozens of developing countries around the world, like Chile, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Such ties are integral to China's global ambitions.

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But shoddy or counterfeit products are a national problem in Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, where impoverished consumers have few alternatives. Some shoddy goods are benign, like the Chinese-made shirts, trousers and dresses with uneven stitching and stray threads that fill street markets. But electrical wiring, outlets and power strips from China, ubiquitous in new homes and offices, are connected to dozens of fires a year in Lagos alone.

The relationship between China and Nigeria is a complex web of dependency, one replicated in dozens of developing countries around the world, like Chile, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Such ties are integral to China's global ambitions.

Read Full Article